My wife Debbie, who is the Project Coordinator for Project Abraham, and I joined the GTA Yazidi community in meeting our latest refugees at Pearson International Airport
While a joyful and happy occasion that needs to be celebrated, I can’t help being affected by the absurdity of the Yazidis struggle. Without Project Abraham and our large number of dedicated volunteers who have spent hundreds of hours completing applications, making sure the needs of the refugees are taken care of - finding housing, jobs, clothes, furniture, teaching them English, driving them to appointments, and helping them lobby the government – it could have been a different story.
The Yazidis have become our friends. They are learning English and easily fitting into the Canadian community. They are self-supporting, and generous with the little they have. Despite what that have suffered, they celebrate life.
Debbie and I are considered part of their community, not outsiders. We are as family, and other volunteers have the same experience. The Yazidis are a warm, loving, and inclusive people, the kind of people we should welcome to Canada with open arms.
Yet the absurdity remains. A people undergoing a genocide and faced with extinction being told by the West - including Canada - that the few Yazidi refugees taken in are all we can accommodate. Given the thousands of Syrian refugees that the West brought in, surely the Yazidi deserve at least the same consideration. Given the genocide, morally more consideration.
All of us involved in Project Abraham have had our lives enriched by the Yazidis. And we will continue supporting them and to lobby for them because it is the right thing to do. The world is not a compassionate place, and justice seldom is metred out in a way that is fair. All the Yazidis want to do is live in peace and in safety, and we will do our best to make that happen.
See more photos: Our new Project Abraham Yazidis arrivals